I have been curious about the Amish for quite a while, but a trip to Ohio or Pennsylvania has seemed out of reach for me (time, money-simply thinking it was out of reach). Did you know there is an Amish community in Tennessee? Well, I learned this in September of 2020 and wasted no time making plans to get there.
Listen To Your Friend
While visiting the lake house of our “camping friends“, I see the beautiful, hand-crafted baskets she uses all over her house. I have to ask and I’m glad I did…she tells me all about her visit to Amish country in Ethridge, Tennessee. Yes!! An Amish community in Tennessee! We make travel plans and visit in May 2021. I am thrilled to share my pictures, the history, my purchases, and all of the goodness that is in this Amish community!
Camping Near Amish
It is Memorial Day weekend and we are in Ethridge, TN. We camp at a nearby campground but honestly, the town is small with little traffic so don’t worry too much about the convenience of the location. As a side note, when I return (because I certainly will) I will stay at the David Crockett State Park; it is beautiful and only a short drive to the town of Ethridge.
Amish Sights and Sounds
Ethridge, TN is about 90 miles southwest of Nashville and just under 300 miles from Atlanta, GA. When you arrive you’ll see two Amish Welcome Centers and most likely a horse-drawn buggy…or two. We arrived in the evening and as we sat outside for dinner, I could hear the quick tapping of the horseshoes and see the small lights of buggy lanterns. The Amish were moving about at night headed home to their farms. It is a sound that quickly becomes familiar and calming.
Horse-drawn buggies are impressive sights in Ethridge.
A Good Conversation
The Amish in Lawrence County, TN are of the Swartzentruber lineage from Mississippi and Ohio. There are roughly 1500 Amish here living within 10 church districts. I had the amazing privilege to sit and talk with one of the Amish in his rug shop. He is a talented rug maker and welcomes you into his shop for conversation. We quickly learn from one another and gain respect for both ways of life. He allowed me to meet his daughter and his dog Daisy. It was definitely a highlight of the visit since conversations with “the English” (that is what they refer to us as) are not sought after.
Look For The Signs
On the roadside, you will see their simple, white, and black hand-painted signs that tell you their craft/trade specialty. Pull into the driveway, get out and head to the modest porch or barn. Your car door serves as their doorbell-one of them will meet you there (often a child or teen). Be sure to take cash as this is the only way to buy the treasures you will find.
Amish Trades Available May 2021
This conservative community of plain-clothed, simple lifestyles is really quite intriguing. For me, it is fascinating! As you drive through the community you can’t help but admire the beautiful landscape and take note of the white houses and red barns. These are the Amish farms.
Top 5 Amish Farms To Visit:
- 34 McDowell Road: Rolling Pins and Cutting Boards
- 42 Bud Taylor Road: Baskets, Candies, Canned Goods
- 64 Gray Road: Woven Rugs
- 9 Cross Road: Bentwood Rockers and Wooden Boxes
- 629 South Brace Road: Baskets and Handmade Brooms
Take The Time
This is definitely a top “one-tank” trip on our list. I’m so thankful for the casual conversation I had with a friend that led me to experience a lifestyle that has inspired me to embrace the blessings of my life while appreciating and respecting others. Whether it is with the Amish or another community, I hope you take the time to discover something new that will refresh you. As always, please share your travels and curiosities with me-I can’t wait to hear from you!